Cell & Gene Catalyst working groups members announced


Thirty-two experts from across the cell and gene ecosystem have been appointed to Australia’s Cell & Gene Catalyst’s (the Catalyst) three working groups.

The Catalyst today announces the appointment of 32 experts to its three expert working groups: Policy & advocacy, Collaboration & knowledge-sharing, and Workforce development.

A national joint venture of the industry peak bodies AusBiotech and Medicines Australia, the Catalyst aims to accelerate Australia’s cell and gene industry to ensure everyone in Australia has access to world-class advanced therapeutics.

The working groups announced today will join forces with the Catalyst Expert Steering Group to advance the Catalyst’s strategic goals and priorities and accelerate Australia’s cell and gene industry.

Catalyst Director Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea AM said, “Working group members were selected from more than 50 leaders and rising stars who expressed their interest. This sector-wide commitment clearly demonstrates the value and importance of the cell and gene industry to Australia’s innovation-driven future.”

Working groups will focus on key strategic priorities identified through broad consultation with the sector. Examples include reimbursement and regulatory pathways for cell and gene therapies, market access, long-term strategic investment in infrastructure and across the value chain, boosting capacity and capability in product development, and creating education and professional development opportunities to equip Australia’s current and future workforce.

Catalyst’s Expert Steering Group member Deniz Bagdadi, Business Unit Director, New Products, CSL, says, “Thank you to the vast network of professionals that applied for or were selected for the Catalyst’s working groups. The response is an overwhelming demonstration of the breadth of expertise and skills in the Australian cell and gene industry, and will be invaluable in creating tangible outcomes and impact as we implement the industry-developed strategy for Australia to become a world-class cell and gene hub.”

“The ecosystem’s collaboration is essential if we are to fully realise the opportunities of cell and gene within Australia’s rapidly growing sector and achieve our common mission: establishing an end-to-end value chain for the discovery, development, manufacture and distribution of cell and gene therapies, while promoting job creation, commercialising research, and exporting Australian innovation globally.”

Group members will volunteer their time and expertise throughout this year in support of the Catalyst’s goals and activities and commit to taking a collaborative, solutions-driven approach. Groups will apply an ecosystem-wide lens and members have diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to draw on during the meetings.

AusBiotech and Medicines Australia value and appreciate this commitment to accelerating the growth of Australia’s cell and gene industry.

Policy & advocacy working group

Goal: Developing and implementing an advocacy strategy that effectively communicates the burning issues and recommended solutions for the cell and gene industry.


  • Neama Baho, Pro Pharma Group
  • Matt Banfield, Miltenyi Biotec Australia
  • Hassan Chaudhry, IQVIA
  • Daniel Getts, Myeloid Therapeutics
  • Lead Goodman, Biointelect
  • James McAdam, Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Megan Munsie, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, University of Melbourne
  • Mary Nteris, Fenix Innovation Group
  • Gabrielle O’Sullivan, Centenary Institute (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)
  • Addison Ridge, Nexus Public Affairs
  • Anna Schulze, CSL Limited
  • Janet Tyler, Roche
  • Kelvin Yip, Monash University (observer)

Collaboration & knowledge-sharing working group

Goal: Develop and implement an engagement framework that provides meaningful opportunities to connect, exchange ideas and share knowledge and expertise to foster industry-led collaborations.


  • Helen Dodds, Sanofi
  • Jo Fleming, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood
  • Hamza Hassan, Decode Science
  • Sinthujan (Sinth) Jegaskanda, Myrio Therapeutics
  • Tracy Jones-Bower, Roche
  • Jo Karra, Sydney Children's Hospital Westmead
  • Jack Lambshead, Biointelect (observer)
  • Heather Main, Hoya Consulting / University of Melbourne
  • Cameron McDonald, CSIRO
  • Gerry McKiernan, Increment 4 (previously Cell Therapies)
  • Zlatibor Velickovic, Royal Perth Hospital
  • Elizabeth Wilson, IQVIA

Workforce development working group

Goal: Identify education and skills gaps and develop an evidence-based workforce development framework in partnership with the sector.


  • Walid Azir, Cartherics Pty Ltd
  • Jarrod Belcher, MTPConnect
  • Simon Cool, The University of Queensland
  • Marilyn Jones, MEXEC
  • Octavio Mejia, Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited
  • Mariyam Murtaza, Griffith University (observer)
  • Umesh Nair, Merck
  • Tom Parsons, Proclinical Global Growth Partners
  • Alice Pebay, CCRM Australia
  • Sharon Sagnella, Centenary Institute (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)
  • Christine Wells, The University of Melbourne
  • Irene Wong, Australian Tax Office